Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) began the process of upgrading the Somnath railway station which is expected to cost around Rs 134 Crores. The project will be implemented through Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
The pre-bid meeting was held on April 22, 2022, where both national and state-level developers were present and showed keen interest in the project. The deadline for submitting e-bids was May 25, 2022.
Recently, Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region of India, G Krishna Reddy tweeted “The Somnath Railway Station will be redeveloped on the architectural design of the Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple. A perfect blend of tradition, culture and modernity that will strengthen the tourist prospects of the region!”
The goal of the station redevelopment programme is to provide passengers with best-in-class amenities and to improve the travel experience.
According to RLDA, the Somnath railway station will be developed using the concept of green building for energy saving. This station will have an exclusive building façade displaying the local heritage of Somnath Temple. It would also have separate arrival and departure lounges.
Somnath railway station is operated by Western Railway in the Bhavnagar Division.
The historic city of Somnath, located in Gujarat’s southwest, is also known as Patan Somnath or Somnath Patan. It is home to the Somnath Temple, located in the Prabhas Kshetra, near Veraval in Saurashtra.
It is one of the twelve Shiva temples known as Jyotirlingas. The Somnath Temple is referred to as ‘the Shrine Eternal’ since it has been demolished and rebuilt six times.
When Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel toured the area for Junagadh’s integration, and proposed a plan for restoration, the temple was rebuilt in November 1947. Following Patel’s passing, K. M. Munshi resumed the rebuilding.
As per the Indian Express report,“Veraval (Somnath) is a historic city and a prominent tourist hub. The up-gradation of the Somnath Railway Station will strengthen the tourism prospects of the area. The upgraded station will also enhance the travel experience of the commuters and will also lead to a surge in business activities in the region,” said Ved Parkash Dudeja, Vice Chairman, RLDA.
RLDA is a statutory body functioning under the Railways Ministry. As part of its development plan, there are four main tasks: commercial leasing space, modernizing colonies and train stations, and multifunctional complexes.
Veraval (Somnath) is also one of the largest major fishing ports in India. In addition, there is a large boat industry. It is also home to GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation) which has numerous fishery processing plants that export seafood to the United States, Japan, Southeast Asia, Gulf countries and European Union countries.
One of India’s leading rayon production firms, Grasim Industries Ltd (Unit – Indian Rayon), is also based in Veraval.
These industries will be strengthened and made more accessible by the redeveloped train station.